Rebuild--rear-ended Uhaul CT13 - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-01-2014, 12:33 PM   #29
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
Nevada
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Wow I am blown away how tallented you are! I wouldn't even know where to beguin with this task and I used to do auto body and paint! Kudos to you Sir one hell of a job you can look back on this with self pride!

I wish I could be around to help so I could learn!

JOB WELL DONE!
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:04 PM   #30
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Whoa! As Elvis would say, "Thank you... thank you very much..."

I'd have to say that problem-solving challenges kind of get me going. [Ones on the tail-lamp-alternate level... not peace in the Middle East or anything.] That, and I'm quick to take the bait of "It can't be done"... which sometimes leads me to spend WAY too much time far down some bunny-trail, trying to prove otherwise.

So, this has been fun... and looks like it will work ok. I didn't make the form quite as big as I should have, so I'm having to shave a little plastic to make the stock GM lamp nestle in there. I guess I'll go ahead and make the 2nd "bucket" up this weekend, without changing the form... then, if the weather stays mild a while longer, I'll hope to glue both buckets in place on the camper while it stays outside... gonna be a while before I've got space freed up inside the shop for it.

Carryin' on...........
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:39 PM   #31
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Trails West Campster, CampStar, Uhaul, Fiberstream
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groys02 View Post
First tail-light "bucket" popped off the form today!

Not a perfect fit with the GM tail-lamp assembly, but pretty close. I've sanded a bit on the edges of the GM part, so now it settles into the bucket pretty well. Need to tweak the opening in the back of the bucket a little more, so the tail-light assembly will fully nestle into it. If I have to tweak the bucket or the light assembly too much, I'll back up and modify the form before casting the bucket for the other side.
But at this point, I'm just happy that it's fitting pretty close... and that the form release agent worked like it was supposed to, and the part popped right off of the form earlier today. So far, so good.

Gary... grinning in Iowa...
Really excellent work here....fiberglass Dave
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:07 PM   #32
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
Nevada
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Originally Posted by groys02 View Post
Whoa! As Elvis would say, "Thank you... thank you very much..."

I'd have to say that problem-solving challenges kind of get me going. [Ones on the tail-lamp-alternate level... not peace in the Middle East or anything.] That, and I'm quick to take the bait of "It can't be done"... which sometimes leads me to spend WAY too much time far down some bunny-trail, trying to prove otherwise.

So, this has been fun... and looks like it will work ok. I didn't make the form quite as big as I should have, so I'm having to shave a little plastic to make the stock GM lamp nestle in there. I guess I'll go ahead and make the 2nd "bucket" up this weekend, without changing the form... then, if the weather stays mild a while longer, I'll hope to glue both buckets in place on the camper while it stays outside... gonna be a while before I've got space freed up inside the shop for it.

Carryin' on...........
I wish I had you around here to help me with my Chris Craft been looking for some help for so long:{

I know its not trailer related but would be nice to find some talented help.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:27 PM   #33
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks again for the kind words, both Roger and Dave.

Dave, I have not done a great deal of fiberglass work, and read your lengthy post on tackling fiberglass repair twice. You did a very nice job with that, and it added a lot to my confidence to just go ahead and dive into this repair project. I'd recommend it to others:

You Can Repair Fiberglass

The FibreGlast website had some helpful articles, too, and that's where I ordered the release agent [FibRelease 1153]... a product that I didn't already have, and had no experience with. [FYI, Dave's article was much more personable than the "industry" info.] FibRelease 1 step mold release for composites. In stock | Fibre Glast

So, I'd recommend Dave's article for general information and encouragement... and the FibreGlast folks as one source of materials.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:56 PM   #34
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Well, took the plunge tonight, and glued in the driver's side taillight bucket. Removed the original lamp and gasket material first--pretty broken up after the rear-end hit, but saved the pieces anyway. Only needed to enlarge the opening a little from the stock shape, shown in the photo with the green tape--the inside of the taped shape is the size of the new opening.

Not sure if I did this "by the book" or not. I was a little concerned that once I thickened up the catalyzed resin with the glass micro-spheres it might not wet the bonding surfaces... so I brushed a layer of plain resin on both the inside of the trailer skin and the flanges of the bucket first... then thickened it up till it was like somewhat sugared honey. Painted a thick layer of that on both trailer skin and bucket... and then brought the bucket up against the skin and screwed the two together. Just enough tightening of the screws to start bulging out the paste--not tight at all really. [I didn't want to warp the skin, just snug it up to the new bucket.]

Seems like it worked... guess I'll find out tomorrow if too much resin drooled out of the joint before the catalyst kicked off. Or if the screws are hopelessly glued in place. Pictures below......

Tomorrow, I'll figure to glue in the passenger side. Then do some sanding and shaping on the driver's side, and see what it looks like with the taillight assembly stuck in. [More pics tomorrow, then, hopefully.]
Attached Thumbnails
14-1004-Before01.jpg   14-1004-Bucket01.jpg  

14-1004-Bucket02.jpg   14-1004-Bucket03.jpg  

14-1004-Bucket03a.jpg  
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:35 AM   #35
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
Nevada
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Gary your the man! You got some cahonas tackling this job! It is going to be so nice when your done. I bet your really excited? :}
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:11 PM   #36
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks for the encouragement, Roger.

Went back at it today... glued in the bucket on the passenger side, and smoothed up the edges of the driver side... fitted the tail-lamp base and lens [not permanently, just checking].

Had some fairly minor fit issues... a little tweaking here and there... but it looks like it'll work, and almost like I intended it to... such a deal. The Chevy assembly isn't perfectly uniform in section, top to bottom, so the top of the lens sticks out just a little at the middle--but doesn't at the bottom [see the last picture below]. I think I'll fill in the top of the lens with some window urethane, so there isn't a recess there to admit and collect water... and then when I finally install it for good, put a thin foam gasket at the top so moisture doesn't tend to infiltrate there... and leave a little gap at the bottom of the lens so that whatever water does get in can escape. There's a gasket between the lamp "base" and the mounting surface, and another gasket between the base and the lens, so with a little luck whatever water does work into the tail-lamp recess won't actually get into the lamp itself.

Hope that makes sense... some pictures below... 'night, all...
Attached Thumbnails
14-1005-taillamp01.jpg   14-1005-taillamp02.jpg  

14-1005-taillamp03.jpg   14-1005-taillamp03b.jpg  

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Old 10-05-2014, 08:54 PM   #37
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Trails West Campster, CampStar, Uhaul, Fiberstream
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Looks factory, done at home without fancy "stuff" and done by an owner. You should be proud...$1000 job at our shop...I love it
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:05 PM   #38
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Thanks, Dave!

I got the passenger side smoothed up and its taillight installed this morning... now the camper's back outside for the time being, and I'm back to customer work. One last pic below, from rear, with both lights in place........
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14-1006-taillights-01.jpg  
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:11 AM   #39
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Trailer: U-Haul VT 16FT
Arizona
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Gary,

How has the restoration been going? Any updated photos of your success?

Perk
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:08 AM   #40
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Perk,
Restoration work has been essentially on-hold since last October. But last Friday I finally got it back in the shop! [Customer projects finally leaving, one way or another... just 2 to finish, and I'm retiring.]
I picked up some 1/32" thick cut-off wheels for my air grinder, and have borrowed a Dremel tool from a friend... one or the other, or a combination of both, will be used to remove a large-ish chunk of the interior fiberglass at the rear of the trailer, so I can readily patch all the outer-skin breaks from the inside. [Then, later, bevel and feather patches on the outside.]
I'll be tackling that cutting-out fairly soon---and I'll be sure to wear long sleeves, rubber gloves, googles & respirator. Will post pics of that slicing-and-dicing, as it happens.
For now, just a pic of it back inside and ready for work............
Gary
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15-0613-BackInShop-01.jpg  
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:31 AM   #41
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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Well... somehow a week went by before I made further progress. Went out last night and spent 2 hours on initial tear-down of rear damage. And half of that, just taking plastic off back-glass opening and cleaning up the tape residue... taking the battery case loose from the floor [bolts mostly broke right off--new ones later]... pealing up old flooring [only a little wet underneath it]... and gathering tools etc.

Then I used some 1/8" masking tape to mark straight lines for cutting, tracing along the edge of the tape with a black marker, and then removed tape. Marked off an area to take out that was just ahead of the damage, and passed through window or bin openings in straight portions [not curved corner parts], figuring it'd be easier to line up the pieces later.

I tried a tiny cut-off disc in a Dremel tool at first, but it was very slow going, and the disc broke right away as well. Switched over to a air-driven cut-off tool, with a 1/32" disc in it, and at slow-medium speed... and it cut like butter, without too much dust airborn. [I wore a good dust mask and long rubber gloves, but I was just making flour-like dust... which I vacuumed up later with the shop-vac.] Took 5-10 minutes to make all the cuts... including using the Dremel with a drill/cutter bit to finish up the inside-corner cuts down by the floor that the larger "shop" tool didn't readily get to. [I included a pic of a cut-off tool like the one I used, in case that's unfamiliar to people.]

Then, carefully wrestled the interior shell pieces out of the trailer, and took some photos [attached] for posterity. I think I'll start on the repairing of the inside shell pieces, before moving to the outer shell repair... [1] they'll be a nuisance to move or work around, all fractured and floppy, and [2] I can fairly readily turn the whole assembly this way and that for easier work positioning, compared to mostly-vertical working on the outer shell repairs. I think I'll temporarily attach wood braces to the broken pieces to line them up and make the assembly easier to handle... that'll make some extra screw-holes to fill in later, but pretty minor amount of work compared to all there is to be done.

I'll post more pictures as I go... they may serve as guides for how to do--or not do--something similar for other folks. [There IS that possibility that I'll make a mistake or three.]

All for now........
Gary
Attached Thumbnails
15-0619-02a.jpg   15-0619-03a.jpg  

15-0619-03b.jpg   15-0619-04b.jpg  

15-0619-05-tool.jpg  
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:20 PM   #42
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
Iowa
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So, today I thought I'd try to get the major pieces aligned and fastened together that I cut out yesterday. Took a while, but didn't go too bad. I fastened several scraps of plywood & 1 1x4 to the inside surface, to hold things in line... figuring I'd repair the inside-the-wall side first, and try to work around any fasteners I put through the fiberglass... when that side's patches are all set-up, I should be able to remove these wooden bits to do the finish work to the inside surface.

I started with the 1x4 across the seat-front... several breaks & cracks that made the whole assembly loose & wobbly, so I wanted to gain strength there first... plus, I had the front of that area being relatively flat, to help align the 1x4 to as I drilled the bolt-holes.
Then I measured the window opening in the outer shell and drew the outline of it on the plywood, so I could flex those upper parts of the shell to meet the opening lines. With that screwed in place, the whole assembly held together much better. And then, added a couple more plywood bits to span bad breaks.

I'm thinking now that I should add a pair of braces from the window-opening plywood to the front of the seating area, so that they stay parallel to each other... don't want to add the patches and make everything solid-but-skewed.

Sometimes the breaks in the fiberglass "meshed" back together nicely, and sometimes not. If the 2 sides wouldn't come together cleanly, I ran the Dremel tool down the break line to cut away the interfering fibers. I included a photo of the Dremel bit... not sure what to call it, as I bought it years ago for a whole different purpose, but never used it.
Also included a photo from the back side... it was interesting to me how much more the breaks/cracks showed from the back, as pale streaks against the age-darkened resin.

All for now. Happy Fathers Day, to anyone that fits. Gary
Attached Thumbnails
15-0620-01.jpg   15-0620-04a.jpg  

15-0620-03.jpg   15-0620-02.jpg  

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